Hate Crime

The Hate Crime and Public Order Bill is intended to provide for the modernising, consolidating and extending of hate crime legislation in Scotland. Since publication in April 2020, the draft Bill has attracted a range of critical responses, including the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates. In 2020 we launched a small crowdfunder to allow us to work on a detailed submission to the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament, which is tasked with overseeing the Bill.

Written evidence

The Scottish Parliament’s bill process and the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill

This is a post setting out how the Scottish Parliament handles government bills, and what that means for the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill. A Bill is the draft form of an act of parliament. An Act of the Scottish Parliament is “primary legislation” and covered by the parliament’s primary legislation procedures, available…

Hate Crime Bill: blogs, briefings and statements (Stages 2 and 3)

The following blogs, briefings and statements relate specifically to events at Stages Two and Three: to the freedom of expression amendments lodged and then withdrawn by MSPs, and to the developments thereafter. 

Hate Crime Bill and Public Order Bill: Briefing papers

We have written multiple blogs on the Hate Crime Bill, which we have now published as a series of briefing papers. These can be accessed below. 

Press articles

Chilling effect: how the hate crime bill threatens free speech
Article on the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
Holyrood, 10 March 2021

Hate Crime Bill would affect freedom of speech in transgender debate – comment
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime bill
The Scotsman, 29 November 2020

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Views from Scottish policing
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime Bill
Policing Insight, 29 September 2020

Restrict new hate crime laws to situations where there is ‘intention’ to stir up hate
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime Bill
Press and Journal, 21 September 2020

Herald: Will Hate Crime Bill follow the path of its predecessor?
10 August 2020
This Herald Agenda article draws out the similarities between the current Hate Crime Bill and the 2005 Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, and considers the implications for freedom of expression.

Holyrood Magazine: The hate crime bill must be properly scrutinised 
20 May 2020
In this comment piece we argue that the Scottish Government should be careful not to dismiss concerns about the Bill as unsubstantiated, or to paint those voicing concerns as bad faith actors.